I am not a fan of 3-D. Unfortunately, I lost the argument so 3-D it was (maybe that’s why I blog; I can’t win in real life). Fortunately, the 3-D was effectively executed. Scott uses the technology to create a sense of immersion rather than simply spurt blood or flash laser lights at you.
As for the movie itself, Prometheus was one of the movies I was really looking forward to seeing this year. With the exception of the new Batman, I’d say it tops the list. I was expecting some mythical combination of Contact and Event Horizon through the brilliant lens of Ridley Scott.
In hindsight, I realize I was setting the bar a little too high.
It was good. Entertaining. Fine summer fun. Maybe those with short attention spans will be bored in the early going because it takes a while to get to the good stuff (if, like with me, the good stuff means monsters and explosions).
However, I liked the early going. There was a lot to set up. There were several characters to get to know and as we follow them around we find out what the whole to do is about.
It’s some pretty epic stuff.
Unfortunately, the movie let me down a bit here. The scale is momentous. Their mission has the possibility of being, by a landslide, the single biggest moment in human history. The cosmic secrets might possibly be revealed and the characters are forced to grapple with issues surrounding faith, science, life, death, love, and family. That’s to say nothing of the commitment they’ve made to see this mission through.
I just felt they were a little too blase about what they find initially. It may have been a storytelling choice allowing Ridley to ramp up tension, but I think it would have been equally effective to go from incredible wonder to equivalent terror.
I guess I just wanted a nice Jurassic Park scene–when they first see the dinosaurs–a hearty Spielberg moment where the camera pulls away slowly as the character’s eyes widen with awe. Instead, the epochal moment is lost on all but a couple of characters. If the movie got right down to the fangs and the ooze in the first 15 minutes, I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but they spend a good amount of time building up the mystery and the characters.
There are a couple of old school bone-head horror movie moments. “Hey, I heard a snarl down the hallway of this alien ghost ship. I’ll go check it out alone.” There’s also a coochie-coo moment with strange alien life that resolves itself predictably.
Prometheus shares its universe with another storied sci-fi movie franchise, but the connections between the two are superficial and forced.
Oh, and there’s an apparently inexplicable miscasting of Guy Pearce.
Fortunately, these cinematic faux pas are peripheral. I found Prometheus entertaining overall. And I won’t ruin it with telling.
But I will say that Michael Fassbender and Idris Elba go neck and neck to steal this movie. And considering what each actor had to work with, I might give it to Elba.
Ridley Scott remains a master of disturbing imagery (I heard a few squeals here and there from the audience) and lush, fully-realized, science fiction reality. He’s also retained his knack for sticking an assortment of oddball characters on a ship in the middle of space and pick-pick-picking at them until you’re not sure what the real threat is.
So if you like guts and spaceships and alien monsters, by all means see Prometheus, likewise if you’re a fan of real science fiction. My only caveat is that it’s a little too balanced with both to fully satiate the hardcore fans of either.